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 Elizabeth Ellen “Lizzie” <I>Johnson</I> Williams

Elizabeth Ellen “Lizzie” Johnson Williams

Birth
Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, USA
Death 9 Oct 1924 (aged 84)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 24347168 · View Source
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Elizabeth Ellen "Lizzie" Johnson Williams was a schoolteacher, cattle dealer and investor. She was the 2nd of 7 children born to Thomas Jefferson Johnson and Catharine (Hyde) Johnson. In 1844, the family moved to Texas, living in Huntsville, Lockhart and Webberville before settling on Bear Creek in Hays County. In 1852, her parents founded a private coeducational school called Johnson Institute. She and her siblings all attained their basic education there. In 1859, Lizzie earned her degree from Chappell Hill Female College in Washington County. She began her teaching career at Johnson Institute and taught there until about 1863 when she moved on, teaching in Lockhart, Pleasant Hill School (then located south of Austin), Parson's Seminary in Manor and Oak Grove Academy in Austin. In 1873 she purchased property in Austin, lived in a 2 story home and conducted a primary school on the first floor. Having a good imagination, she wrote short fiction; many of her stories were published anonymously in Frank Leslie's "Illustrated Weekly". While teaching in Lockhart, she learned bookkeeping for cattlemen. When she moved to Austin, she kept this as a side business. With the extra income she earned from her fiction writing, she invested in a cattle company and soon earned a tidy profit. She invested this profit in cattle and land. On June 8, 1879, she married Hezekial George "Hez" Williams who was a widower with several children. He signed a prenuptial agreement that stated he would not try to assert any claim to any of the property she had at the time of the marriage or any property she might acquire in the future during their marriage. She kept his business and hers separated and, as she was better at business dealings than he, she made higher profits. When he needed money to pay a loan, she would pay it, but he had to pay it back. Her life from that time on revolved around real estate and the cattle business. It is believed that she is the first woman who took her own herd on a cattle drive up the Chisolm Trail. Because of her business sense, they were able to travel, spending some years in Cuba. They returned from Cuba on the ship "Tillis" arriving in Galveston on December 24, 1905. Hez was kidnapped while in Cuba and Lizzie immediately paid the ransom to have him returned. After his death in 1914, Lizzie no longer took good care of herself; she neglected her grooming and took little interest in anything or anyone around her. She was said to have exhibited strange behavior. She lived in a small apartment, and upon her death people were surprised to learn her estate was valued at almost a quarter of a million dollars.

Here is what her death certificate has to say:

Name: Lizzie E Williams
Death Date: 09 Oct 1924
Death Place: Austin, Travis, Texas
Gender: Female
Race: White
Death Age: 84 years 5 months
Estimated Birth Date:
Birth Date: 09 May 1840
Birthplace: Missouri
Marital Status: Widowed
Spouse's Name:
Father's Name: Pleas Johnson (All her bios state her father's name was Thomas Jefferson Johnson)
Father's Birthplace: Va
Mother's Name: Catherine Hyde
Mother's Birthplace: Nc
Occupation:
Place of Residence: Austin, Travis, Texas
Cemetery: Oakwood
Burial Place:
Burial Date: 10 Oct 1924


Gravesite Details Double headstone with Hezekiah G. Williams, 1840-1914

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  • Created by: H M G
  • Added: 3 Feb 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24347168
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth Ellen “Lizzie” Johnson Williams (9 May 1840–9 Oct 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24347168, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by H M G (contributor 46483679) .